In the IT world, enterprise refers to large businesses and organizations. It is often used to describe hardware, software, and technical services that are aimed at business customers.

Enterprise hardware includes telecommunications systems such as large-scale network equipment, telephone systems, and SIP devices. It also includes server farms and infrastructure used for cloud computing. Though enterprise hardware often describes large-scale hardware systems, it may also refer to an individual device, such as as workstation or laptop designed specifically for business purposes.

Enterprise software, also called enterprise application software (EAS), refers to software developed for businesses, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions. Examples of enterprise programs include accounting software like Intuit QuickBooks, project management programs like Microsoft Project, database management systems like Microsoft SQL Server, and content management systems like IBM Information Management solutions. Some applications are offered in multiple editions and may include an "Enterprise" edition that is designed specifically for large organizations.

Examples of technical services that fall under the enterprise category include network installation and monitoring, business telephony services, and private and public cloud systems. Small-scale enterprise services include VPN setup, data backup, and web hosting. These services often include a combination of enterprise hardware and software that companies may either purchase, lease, or rent as part of the service agreement.

Updated July 31, 2013 by Per C.

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